The prestigious performing arts school, which specialises in musical theatre, will be joining City

By City Press Office (City Press Office), Published

City, University of London is delighted to announce the prestigious performing arts school, the Urdang Academy, based in the Old Finsbury Town Hall, will be joining City. This acquisition is part of an ambitious new strategy to enhance and develop City’s reputation for music and its engagement with practice and the creative industries.

City’s long-term commitment to Urdang will be supported by investment in its students, staff and facilities and a commitment to growth, through portfolio development and its global approach to student recruitment.

The Urdang Academy is recognised as one of the UK’s finest performing arts colleges, specialising in musical theatre, and has a strong international reputation. Its students and graduates are highly sought after within the industry and many alumni land roles in leading West End shows.

City’s acquisition of Urdang will support the development of the University’s music and performing arts portfolio. It is a key component of City’s new strategy, which is rooted in the unique position of the University with its strong and distinctive focus on practice and the professions and on transforming the lives of its students.

Urdang was established in London in 1970 by Leonie Urdang, as a diverse and inclusive dance school, and is based in Clerkenwell’s historic and spectacular Old Finsbury Town Hall (across the road from Sadler’s Wells). Under its current leader, Solange Urdang, Leonie’s daughter, the Academy has developed a leading performing arts portfolio while remaining true to its founding ethos.

Urdang Academy, which will now be known simply as ‘Urdang’, will retain its identity and will continue to operate from its current base, ownership of which will pass to City. Urdang will form part of a new Department of Performing Arts at City, alongside City’s renowned music department.

Commenting on the acquisition, City’s President, Professor Sir Anthony Finkelstein, said:

This is an exciting development for City, and we look forward to welcoming Urdang staff and degree students to our family. Our shared ethos and ambition makes City and Urdang a powerful combination and provides a strong foundation for the further development of the Academy. Urdang has a formidable reputation for the performing arts, which we will protect and develop, and co-location with our fantastic Department of Music and access to our campus presents many exciting development opportunities.

Solange Urdang, CEO and Board Member of Urdang, said:

Urdang is ultimately my late mother’s legacy and it is very close to my heart. I am delighted to be able to continue as a senior adviser to Urdang at City and will continue to be deeply involved. I will also be supporting the Diploma and Foundation students through to the completion of their programmes. The time is right for the Urdang Academy to take the next step and to blossom and grow. I am delighted that City will take on this challenge, especially given the close alignment of our beliefs and values and the support and development opportunities that City can offer. I look forward to seeing Urdang flourish under the City umbrella.


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